Most Christians are familiar with both Moses and Joshua, though the exploits of the former are certainly more easily recalled. Both men have a lot in common, not the least being that they were raised by God and trained by God for their specific destinies.
Moses was initially raised in the court of a king, but after killing an Egyptian he fled to continue his education tending sheep. God revealed Himself to Moses in a burning bush (Exodus 3:2), after which Moses served the Lord for the rest of His natural life, talking with the Lord, in almost a man-to-man, face-to-face style of conversation.
Joshua, on the other hand, first appears in Bible in Exodus 17:9 as an established warrior and the leader of a volunteer army as “Moses said to Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out to fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.” It is quite clear, that behind the scenes, Joshua had been groomed in preparation of his entrance. Joshua continued in his role as a leader and eventually led Israel into the Promised Land.
God groomed Moses and Joshua for leadership, but because the circumstances of the Israelites were different and changing over time, the training and characters of the two men were also different; though both appropriate for their individual tasks.
One area, in which the two men displayed noticeable differences in operation, was in their relationship with God and this relationship affected them deeply. God first spoke to Moses from a burning bush and continued this very personal and open, almost face-to-face dialogue, through the rest of Moses’ life. Joshua, on the other hand, though he ascended with Moses to the mountain of God, appears to have had a less direct dialogue with God.
The result of the relative intimacy with God which Moses enjoyed is clearly demonstrated in their different views of God, and their different view of how God works with, or interacts with, His people. To see this starkly displayed, we can refer to the Book of Numbers 11:16-29. We shall look here particularly at vv23-29 which read: “And Jehovah said to Moses, Has Jehovah’s hand become short? You shall see now whether or not My word shall come to pass to you. And Moses went out and told the people the words of Jehovah, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them all around the tabernacle. And Jehovah came down in a cloud and spoke to him, and took of the spirit on him and gave it to the seventy elders. And it happened when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they never did so again. But two of the men stayed in the camp; the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other was Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. And they were of those who were written, but did not go out to the tabernacle. And they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, make them cease. And Moses said to him, Are you jealous for my sake? Would God that all Jehovah’s people were prophets, that Jehovah would put His Spirit upon them!”
We need to fully understand what happened here. God required Moses to gather the seventy elders together and place them around the tabernacle. Then God could take the spirit which was on Moses, and put the same spirit on the seventy, such that these seventy could share the sole leadership burden which till that time, Moses had borne alone. As the God’s spirit fell upon the seventy, they all began to prophesy. But two men, Eldad and Medad, though they had remained in camp and not gone to the tabernacle, had the spirit of God fall upon them, and they too began to prophesy.
Now, let us look at the different reactions, as Moses and Joshua are told of Eldad’s and Medad’s sudden blessing. When Joshua is told, his immediate reaction is to call Moses v28b plea to him ”My lord Moses, make them cease.” Compare this to the reaction of Moses as he asked Joshua ”Are you jealous for my sake? Would God that all Jehovah’s people were prophets, that Jehovah would put His Spirit upon them!”
The difference between the two men could not be more marked. Joshua was outraged that the spirit of God has landed beyond the seventy leaders whom he has been asked to assemble. He was outraged that two others, two ‘nobodies’ from the camp had also received the gift of prophecy at the same time as the leaders. Joshua had an exclusive mindset. He wanted the anointing only on the chosen few, the seventy acknowledged leaders. Even despite God being the bearer of the gift, Joshua had the audacity to ask Moses, their leader, to tell Eldad and Medad to cease and desist from God’s gifting.
Moses, on the other hand had an inclusive mindset. He wanted to share God’s gifts with as many as possible. He wanted everyone involved. If God had anointed Eldad and Medad, that was good enough for Moses. The more, the merrier.
The same occurred to Jesus in Mark 9:38-41 as “John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterword to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.”
The same is happening today. We look at the giftings of those around us and think “what has she/she done to deserve that?” “He/she is a new Christian, how can that gifting possibly be authentic?” Indeed, in Church today we find those just as jealous as Joshua was, and as John was.
Moses had an open and inclusive mindset. He had a Kingdom mindset which reflects our present day End-Time Church needs. Moses had a mindset which understood the generosity of God: a God who can see inside outer appearances; to the heart and mind of the individual. God’s desire in these times is to raise up gifted servants for His Kingdom use. The Joshua mindset, on the other hand, is in opposition to God and is second guessing God.
I come before You and ask that You will anoint me with an inclusive Moses Mindset for the benefit of Your Kingdom. I acknowledge that in the past I have thought too highly of myself and have second-guessed Your divine appointments, anointing and giftings. I repent of this wrong attitude. Help me, please Lord, to be a servant to all, but especially to those who bear the touch of Your mighty hand upon them. Grant me Lord, a serving heart, that I too, may glorify Your Kingdom.
In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen and Amen.